Do You Smile When You Look in the Mirror?

What is your typical reaction to seeing your reflection in the mirror? Do you criticize your image, greet yourself with a smile or make the meeting as brief as possible? The makers of Dover soap wanted to know, and asked thousands of American women for their answers.

According to Dove, one in three women surveyed feel anxious when they look into a mirror, and hardly ever smile at their reflection. It’s no wonder, since 80% of the women surveyed feel anxious about the way they look and only 4% would describe themselves as beautiful, Dove said.

Sadly, this anxiety is often shared between mother and daughter: Dove found that 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful.

The company is using this mirror theme in a new ad campaign called (appropriately enough), Mirrors. Dove said that the TV commercials for Mirrors show women and girls reacting to their reflection in the mirror, to contrast the reaction women have when looking at their own reflection in contrast to the reaction young girls have at seeing themselves.

Young girls react with joy and elation when they see their reflection, the TV spots show, while grown-up women often react with anxiety. Dove said it aims to encourage women to re-discover the joy they felt as girls, when looking at their reflection.

Of course, the company also means to sell soap. Does this crass commercial purpose diminish the importance of the messaging? Perhaps, but it’s a whole lot better than the slew of fashion, weight loss and “anti ageing” product ads which seem to exploit women’s’ anxieties in an effort to sell products.

We think that this Dove campaign is a neat idea, regardless of its underlying purpose. Maybe, the next time you see your reflection in the mirror, try giving yourself a warm smile.


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